Exam: AMEB Saxophone Tenor Grade LMusA

Le Api

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Composer: Kenneth Tse
Composed: 1905 Duration: 5 mins.
Instrumentation: Featured, Sax Soprano & Piano
Exam Grade: AMEB Saxophone Tenor Grade LMusA
ISMN: M-720059-84-6 Catalogue: RM216
Level: E Country: United States

Performed by Kenneth Tse

Also available for Alto Saxophone

Antonio Pasculli was born on October 13th, 1842 in Palermo.  He began his career as a virtuosic oboist at the age of 14 and by the time he was 18, was professor of oboe and English horn at the Regio Conservatorio di Palermo, a position he held until he became blind in 1913.

He was appointed director of the Corpo Municipale di Musica di Palermo in 1879, but due to his advancing blindness he withdrew from active concert life in 1884 and lived until 1924. Pasculli composed numerous fantasies for oboe and orchestra on themes from the operas of Bellini, Donizetti, Meyerbeer, Rossini and Verdi. His compositions were often considered to be too difficult to be performed and therefore were forgotten by oboists until modern times.

Le Api for oboe and piano was first published in 1905 and was dedicated to the Conservatorio di Musica di Palermo. Although similar to Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumble Bee, Le Api was written first, and is part of the three virtuosic studies Pasculli wrote for the oboe. From a postscript to the third study we learn that these were first performed in the big hall of the Conservatorio di musica in Milan on July 14, 1874.

The long legato ties are performed with circular breathing and there is only one place where the player can take a breath (break between phrases) in the entire piece.

Advanced Studies (20 pieces)

RM009e Advanced Studies (20 pieces) Cockcroft Editor SAX
RM009e Advanced Studies (20 pieces) Cockcroft Editor SAX
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These pieces have been chosen to give the advanced saxophonist a melodic selection of traditional studies and caprices. The works were adapted from the violin music of Kreuzter, Rode and Paganini and offer saxophonists the chance to play virtuosic studies that are immensely enjoyable - both to play and to listen to.

Mastering one study at a time is a proven technique for learning these demanding pieces. Precision is vital. Detailed observation of pitch, rhythm and nuance is an effective way to begin the 20 pieces. Careful consideration of each fingering will help to develop fl uent integration of the altissimo register. Meticulous study now will save time and frustration later.

No breath marks are given and often no rests are present to indicate where to breathe. Given the wide variety of tempi that these studies are likely to performed at, each saxophonist must choose their own breathing points. Remember though that breathing is decided by the musical phrase, rather than the phrase being decided by the breathing. It is suggested that the occasional note be ommited to occomodate breathing rather than adjusting the tempo.

Given that most of the studies are intended to be played at a fast tempo, the exact metronome marking is left to the discretion of the player. However, several pieces are quite effective at a slower tempo and it is important to place accuracy above speed.

In most of the pieces, the articulations are taken directly from the violin. Use these original markings or explore additional patterns of your own choosing. Whatever the choice, a clear and consistent approach to articulation is recommended. All octave markings throughout this book are optional. These works are not intended solely for technical development but rather for the musical application of an already advanced technique.

For complimentary further study, Reed Music also publishes Barry Cockcroft’s book ‘Saxophone Technique’.